Mich. pickle farm accused of cheating workers

Feds file lawsuit, accuse Michigan pickle farm of violating wage, housing requirements

Associated Press

COPEMISH, Mich. (AP) -- The federal government is accusing a northern Michigan farm of failing to pay minimum wage to migrant workers who picked pickling cucumbers.

A lawsuit filed in Grand Rapids federal court also accuses Darryl Howes and Ron Howes of providing inadequate housing to workers during the 2011 season. The Howes farm in Manistee County grows cucumbers that are turned into pickles.

In a court filing last week, the Howeses denied the allegations. Darryl Howes says U.S. Labor Department investigators interrupted his business during a summer 2011 visit by trying to interview employees.

The farm wants the lawsuit dismissed and is asking a judge to award legal fees.

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